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A friend of mine of Facebook set up a writing challenge for September 2020….the idea being to write at least 500 words a day, every day, for September 2020. As she said in her post, 2020 has been one hell of a year and it’s worth recording our thoughts and feelings…or actually anything at all you fancy.

In response to her post I said “I’m in”….and so here I am….my first post for September 2020.

I don’t usually like making these types of commitments because I like to just go with the flow, but since today I finally sucked in my breath and made a commitment to continue and finish (that’s the plan) my pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury, I figured I had better just get on with it and be disciplined!! Actually earlier this year, on my 65th birthday I decided that I should start keeping a diary. I have never been a diary person and the diary I started for my daughter began and ended with the words “my darling Samantha” LOL that was over 40 years ago, Shame on me.

I’m not sure why, but I find it sooooo very difficult to just sit down before bedtime and write a few words…..and so much has happened since then that I’ve mostly forgotten about, so I am somewhat disappointed with myself. But because I post to instagram just about every day, I keep thinking to myself…..”Oh, I’ll just check instagram and see what I said on this that r the other day” urgh.

Okay, so I just checked and I’ve only reached 250 words…..waffling on hahahha. Okay so 500 words is actually quite a lot, but hey…guess what, I started planning the 2nd half of the Pilgrim’s Way yesterday and today I booked the first 2 nights accommodation. It’s quite exciting and just a lot terrifying because I had to cut the journey short in 2018 after having 2 rather unpleasant falls. One was DOWN St Martha’s Hill near Guildford and the other was UP Box Hill on the way to Merstham. In both instances I hurt myself rather badly and by the day after I rather limped my way into Oxted and after waking the next day I decided to postpone (not quit) the final stages till I got my back and my leg sorted. That was in August 2018.

Of course since then my ever so beloved daughter has given birth to my absolutely delightful and much cherished grandson, and frankly, any thought of being away from him went out with the bath water!! I couldn’t tear myself away from this gorgeous baby boy, who is now nearly 20 months and an absolute charm….but much as it behoves me to be away from him during my work breaks, and much as I really just want to spend as much time with him as possible, I also need to get this walk done…..or it will be one of those things that I never complete…and my history is already littered with quite a few of those.

So here I am….and I have just reached 500 words. Hoorah!! So in conclusion, I shall bid you goodnight and see you tomorrow night with the next post…..keep me in check with this okay. I need y’all to stand behind me and give me a nudge if I don’t post something. Hope it’s not too boring LOL

Oh and p.s. why not join in….. 😉

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My daughter and I attended a 2 day Investment Trading Course in London this weekend.

It wasn’t, thank goodness, one of those rah rah happy clappy ‘guru’ type courses where they spend the weekend showing you snippets of how they made their millions and all the consumeristic tat they’ve bought with said millions, and then at the end of it all they tell you that in order to learn more, you need to buy their next course….a bit like the courses I attended ; Tony Robbins, Roger Hamilton, Christopher Howard and their ilk. All very deceitful. I won’t go into the details here, except to say that they always have a caveat that let’s them off the hook.

Or like the Jill Fielding course we did…provided just enough of the strategy and steps required to get you excited, then ended off with…if you want to learn more, sign up for my next course. They also don’t tell you beforehand that you need a lump sum to get started. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have signed up for a very expensive course. It irks me a great deal that these ‘professionals’ never give you the full picture, but get you excited about the possibility, then sign you up, and you only find out the reality once you’ve signed up.

No, this was a down-to-earth practical course showing you the actual steps and strategies used in her investing portfolio.

Our heads were not filled with ‘oh look how wonderful I am with my millions’, but rather we were shown a realistic presentation of this is what I’ve done over the last 10/15 years to gain financial freedom. There are no millions involved, no fancy lifestyle of big cars, mansions, motorbikes bigger than a small car, jet-set trips blah blah blah.

No, what I really appreciated about this course is that it was kept simple and straightforward with practical ‘this is what you do’ steps to investing over the long term.

Yes, you do need a decent lump sum to get started in order to gain that financial goal over 10 or even 15 years, but you can equally start with £100. You’re not going to be a millionaire overnight or even in 10 years time (if that’s what you’re looking for then buy a lottery ticket).

It’s even better than that….it’s an easy way to get started on investing money following a system that over the long term uses a simple strategy and takes advantage of compound interest, along with two other strategies that she shows you.

My daughter and I learned so much this weekend, and not just about investing, but also about the mindset you need in order to be able to invest regularly and sensibly. There’s no high-risk fast-gain strategy. But there is a simple honest way to invest and gain financial independence.

We were talking about the strategies on the train afterwards, and as my daughter said, if they taught this in schools, they could eradicate poverty within a generation. We are taught all sorts of shit in school that we never need again and nothing at all about financial planning. Rather the expectation is to leave school and either get a low-paying job or go onto benefits, or nothing at all in some cases. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the majority of people do fall into the cycle of financial poverty. And while it’s good to have a job, people are mostly not taught how to budget and how to invest, and so they fall into a cycle of never-ending debt.

It doesn’t need a huge investment to get started and if kids are taught how to budget and how to invest a small amount every month, by the time they’re adults, they could have a decent nest-egg to get started in life.

After a yummy meal, but tired we got home, relaxing on the couch and chatting, we happened to start watching a programme on minimalism which opened up a whole new train of thought.

We are influenced on a minute by minute basis, especially since the advent of TV advertising, and now social media platform advertising, that we are only happy when we spend spend spend : fancy cars, big houses, the latest technology, flat screen 55 inch tvs, holidays here there and everywhere, the ‘latest’ fashion, jewellery and high-end watches with lots of friends milling about the swimming pool in our garden sipping cocktails or beer and smoking… The height of fashion. This the advertisers say, will make you happy.

But it doesn’t. Besides that, it comes at a massive cost; to your family, your health, the health of developing nations and to the planet. Think plastic. One of the things they mentioned in the programme was how in the past, you had 4 seasons of fashion, but now they have 52 weeks of changing fashions. Consumers are constantly bombarded with messages that unless you buy the ‘latest’ this that or the other, you’ll be out of fashion and unhappy and a failure for not keeping up with the Joneses. Think Apple. What they don’t tell you is the massive, negative impact of buying all this stuff is having on the planet. It’s cheap designed to break down quickly and forces you to buy another. Of course I realise the latest Apple phones are not cheap, but they don’t last and every year they persuade millions of people to buy the latest model. They get nauseatingly wealthy and you don’t.

And are you happy?

So, after much discussion we’re now looking at serious minimisation. I’ve been downsizing anyway coz I’m tired of all my possessions that don’t serve me or bring me joy, but instead weigh me down with having to store them and restrict my freedom. But now, I’m going to be brutal. That jacket I love but never wear….out. The dozens of cds I never have time to listen to….out.

I have boxes and boxes of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years that I never look at or need…. Out!!!

I’m going to become even more of what I’ve been for the last few years….every companies worst nightmare : a non-consumer. I experienced so much freedom on the Camino I walked last year with everything I needed in a backpack. It had a massive impact on my life.

Getting back to the Investing Course, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not one of those £5,0000.00 courses where the presenter promises you that you’ll be a millionaire in no time at all (it never happens), and it’s not a ‘fake it till you make it’ type of course (think of any big name in the Personal Development arena), but it is a simple, straightforward, no bullshit, this is what you can do to invest your money and using a simple strategy gain financial security for the long-term.

If like me, you’re already ‘over the hill and still travelling’ then unless you have a large lump sum to invest, you’re not going to be wealthy overnight, but you can secure a decent amount of money to provide a boost to your pension. It is a long-term strategy…..Minimum 10 years, but at the end of it, if you stick with the strategy you should see a decent financial gain.

If you’re still young, 40 and less, then you can, with due diligence and discipline, be able to secure a decent amount of money for a more secure lifestyle.

Let’s face it, unless you earn megabucks (which the vast majority only dream about but never attain) then your pension is going to be shit. Mine will be £65 per week. Rah rah.

So consider your future and think about investing and give yourself a better chance of a decent financial lifestyle.

For me, financial freedom would mean being able to buy my motor home and having sufficient funds to travel and not work. It would be about having just enough money to sustain me while I walk along all the routes I want to do, take decent photos and have the time to blog about my adventures.

I don’t need a big house, fancy car, latest fashion or any of the latest fads. I just want to walk and live a simple lifestyle.

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Whewww. 1 week till I arrive in Porto at the beginning of my Camino 2017 : 7 days : 168 hours : 10,080 minutes 😂😂😂 and just 10 days till I start walking the Portuguese Coastal Route from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. In fact by this time next week I will have landed in Porto…all being well.

inspirational quotes

Sometimes we have to stop being scared and just go for it. either is will work or it won’t. that’s life!

I can’t express just how excited and trepidatious I am feeling. My mind is swirling with thoughts like; have I got this, do I have that, what if I lose my meds, should I carry this or that or the next thing, will I have enough money? Will my shoes be suitable? Have I enough clothes? Do I have the right clothes? Do I have enough time? Can I find my way?

Blah blah blah and horrors…. what if I find I can’t walk 25kms+ for 11 days in a row!!! With a 7.5kg backpack on my shoulders. 😦 😦 😦 I’m under no illusions as to how heavy it can get after walking for 6-8 hours per day….even though I only walked for 3 days each journey last month. Southwark to Canterbury ‘in the footsteps of Chaucer‘ and Ramsgate to Canterbury ‘The Way of St Augustine‘.

So yes, all the fears, all the uncertainties and all the excitement of the experiences I’ll have, the issues I’ll face, the challenges ahead, the places and wondrous things I’m going to see are whirling like dervishes about inside; my mind is in turmoil as the date for lift off approaches and all I want to do is go home right now and I bloody can’t because I’m working 😢😢😢 I’m not sure if I should cry, scream or laugh… I’m trying to focus on the latter.

So OMG 7 days. This all seemed like such a brilliant idea 18 months ago. 7 years ago it seemed like even a better idea!!!! LOL urgh. I love travelling. I love going to new places. I love exploring. So why am I so conflicted about this trip? I’ve trained and trained and trained some more. The #walk1000miles challenge has been brilliant for encouragement!

walk 500 miles

Becoming a Proclaimer 🙂 – heading now towards 1000 miles

I’ve done dozens of practice walks, climbed hills and down dales, through fields and along rivers. I’ve practised with the poles…still can’t quite love them, but they are useful. Got proper shoes and breaking them in. Tested 4 different types of socks (found the best ones) and learned that it’s never a good idea to walk in wet socks 😕😕

packing for the camino de santiago

By the time I get back from my Camino, I will have walked 1000 miles..however these are not the socks I’ll be wearing. But those are the poles I’ll be taking.

I’ve experimented with the backpack… Which I think is really the crux of the matter. It’s bloody murder carrying that thing. Sigh. Oh well.

nordic walking poles and osprey backpack

my nordic walking poles and osprey backpack looking fairly benign….

I’ve researched and read dozens of sites and packing lists…what should I take? What will I need? Is this useful? Do I have the right shoes? Will I need a rain-jacket? I have to keep reminding myself I’m going to Portugal and Spain, not outer Mongolia!! I’ve already ditched 1.5kgs of stuff…..I guess my intentions to minimalize my life before I buy my motorhome are being put to the test. This is a good start.4 camino packingBesides all that, after my phone crashed in July, I’m a little fearful for it happening again, so I bought a 2nd phone as back-up (like I need the extra expense) and for the last few days I’ve been transposing all the VIP information from the Camino spreadsheet to my phone calendars and into a small notebook that I’m carrying in case my phone gets lost or I can’t get wi-fi – I’m an old fashioned gal, I still like paper and pen 😉

I took this image in March while on holiday in Torquay with my beloved daughter and it seems perfectly apt right now; I’m a ‘wreck’ 😂😂😂

camino de santiago porto to santiago

7 days to the start of my Camino 2017 – Porto to Santiago

I read a lovely quote in the notebook “The beginning is always today!” Mary Shelley. I guess that yes, today is certainly that; the beginning; of my countdown to Porto…this shit is getting serious now. I can’t understand why I’m so conflicted though. I think the seeds of my fear were sown back in 2016 when I stumbled upon a blog written as a memorial to all the people who have died on the Camino routes in the last 10 years or so. Prior to that, it had never entered my head that people actually died!!! while on Camino. I was horrified. I think that knowledge may have played a part in my cancelling the trip I was going to make in September last year. Since then my daughter has become engaged and due to be married in May 2018. ❤

Although I try to not think of it, I am fearful that I too may die while on Camino. It’s not like I’m ill or anything, but some folks were healthy enough when they started and had a heart-attack enroute, some were knocked over by traffic and one lady Denise Theim was murdered. Now as I say, although I’m not focusing on death, the niggling is there in my mind. I would hate to let my daughter down…I’m meant to be walking her down the aisle when she gets married and it would be heart-breaking if I wasn’t there for her special special day. I’ve asked her to promise me that she’ll ask her father to walk her down the aisle in the event I’m not there…but meanwhile I’m visualising me escorting her….actually I can’t wait for the day, she looks absolutely gorgeous in her dress 🙂

So back to the Camino. One thing that has been really good is reading other people’s blogs and facebook updates on the various pages I’m following. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my fears. So many women and men have posted at how fearful they feel in the days preceding their start, how nervous…many with exactly the same fears I have.

camino de santiago porto to santiago

Inspirational quotes

A couple of days ago I got a sudden burst of excitement and wanted to just go already…now! I posted this on instagram: “14 days to go and I’ll be on my Camino. I had a few options for this number but I quite liked the story in this. The unicorn reflects my dream to walk the Camino, now just about to come true, and the words ‘seeds’ reflects that I’ll be sowing new seeds (experiences) in the garden of my life.

my camino 2017 porto to santiago

sowing the seeds of my adventures

I wonder what will grow from this journey? New friends? New feelings? New emotions? New thoughts? New perceptions? I suspect it will be all the above. I do know for sure that new adventures await, new photos (of course), new places to be seen and new challenges await… My feet hurt just thinking about that! 😂😂😂 I hope you don’t mind that I’ll be posting my #countdown from now till I go. I’ve suddenly gone from trepidation to excitement and now I just want to GO ALREADY. In fact it brings tears to my eyes… OMG what an adventure. Although I’m sure that within 3 days I’ll be saying OMG I must be mad!!! What am I doing!!????”

portuguese coastal route mapacoastal

The Portuguese Coastal and Central routes

And yes, just 4 days later, that euphoric emotion has passed and I’m back to wavering between fear and excitement.

I love travelling. I’ve travelled all over the world entirely on my own. I have stumbled through the language barriers. I have enjoyed meeting people. I have loved being solo…..but for some reason, this trip feels different. I guess it’s probably because I’ll be moving constantly for 11 days; walking between 18.5 – 32 kms at different stages staying at a different hotel/hostel/alburgue each night bar 3. 184.2 kms is an awful lot more than 66.91 over 5 days and 109.01 split over 3 days – 2 weeks apart!!

I’ve planned and replanned my route, changed the distances between stages, reduced some days and increased others. Cut out two days of travelling and reduced the distance from 235kms to 184kms.

Somehow this looks awfully far…..

 

 

 

I’ve wanted to visit Portugal for ever such a long time and Porto has been my top destination. In Spain it’s Barcelona which I’ll be travelling to after my journey to Santiago. I’m so excited to be seeing those places….and yet the 11 days between Porto and Santiago are looming large in my head. I’ll also be adding to Project 101; 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Porto Historic Centre, Coimbra and Santiago. I’ll be visiting a number of cathedrals….I’ll count them once I’ve been, a few walled cities, and crossing a few rivers, and ancient bridges. And besides that…..I’ve no doubt that I’ll be visiting a LOT of churches 🙂

All that remains now are for the days to march on by and soon I shall be on ‘my way’. Porto to Santiago de Compostela along the Portuguese Coastal Route….

camino 2017

Camino de Santiago

Buen Camino….

Porto to Santiago de Compostela - my pilgrim's passport and the scallop shells

Porto to Santiago de Compostela – my pilgrim’s passport and the scallop shells

Other blogs I’ve written about the impending Camino

Camino 2016, my way

My Camino the journey so far

My Camino 2017

On the road and what to pack #Camino2017

Pilgrimage – the road to Santiago

The Spirit of the Camino

Walking the Camino and lessons learned

Harrassment on the Camino

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So a few months ago, after a random meeting with a walker on the Isle of Wight in January who was using what turned out to be Nordic Walking Poles, and after reading various articles about the merits of having walking poles for a long journey as well as the various yays and nays of the merits and benefits and nuisance value of carrying walking poles about for anything up to 790 miles (thankfully I’m only walking 165 miles), on the various Camino forums, I finally decided I best get myself a pair…which I duly did in April.

nordic walking poles

propping up the corner in my bedroom….

Since then they have not only decorated my bedroom but have been carted around the UK from job to job, between Oxted and Ireland, Broadstairs and Ironbridge while I procrastinate (what’s new?) about getting them set up and actually putting them to use and learning ‘how to’.

 

Well I FINALLY set them up yesterday and used them for the first time!

 

 

 

 

Hoorah!!! So the prognosis is this…..I dislike them intensely, but they work. So I guess I’ll have to suck it up and use them LOL.

Initially I just strapped them to my wrist, unextended, the idea being to get used to having them in my hand. Horrible. They made my hands all sweaty and the wrist band around my wrist felt horrendous. Under normal circumstance I can’t bear ANYTHING around my wrists….which is why I don’t wear a watch or bracelets or anything such like…I don’t even wear shirts with button down sleeves…it’s that bad. Grim.

nordic walking poles

perhaps I should have left them on this bench LOL

But I persevered. When I arrived at Titsey Hill on impulse I decided I would just get them set up and at least try them out on the first stretch of the very demanding slope. A slope that usually has me stopping halfway; breathless and heart pounding. But……to my surprise I breezed up the slope barely even hesitating. Now unless I suddenly got super fit overnight, it can only be the benefit of the poles. They sure made a difference.

nordic walking poles

taking a rest on Titsey Hill

I then set off jauntily along the path, between the trees with the poles flying akimbo…. especially the left-hand pole that seems to go off piste all on it’s own from time time. Mmmm not sure about that, but I think with practice I may actually get used to using them.

Then it came time to go downhill…..and once again the poles came to the party and I whizzed down with my knees hardly noticing the difference. The end result is that….I still dislike them…intensely, they interfere with my photo taking, and getting my water bottle out the pouch and open is a challenge, but my joints took way less impact than usual and I felt more confident going downhill with my backpack on.

 

So today I decided to go without them and see if I could identify if there was any difference! Was there ever!!! Firstly I felt so free not having them strapped around my wrists and the annoyance of the left-hand pole just doing it’s own thing was a thing of yesterday….but and this is a huge BUT….boy did I ever notice the difference going up that slope again. Yesterday I nearly breezed up (not quite, but nearly) and found the going so much easier…but today it was back to heart pounding, breathless and stopping halfway to recover. Going downhill I very much noticed the difference with my left knee in particular tweaking and twinging in protest. Hmmm…..

nordic walking poles

going downhill on Titsey Hill…

So I’m guessing that despite my dislike for them the poles must go….with me on the Camino!!!

As for the backpack…wow, is this thing ever so heavy!!! I’m not sure how it is that 6.35 kgs can weigh 635kgs by the end of 2 hours, but it does. I’m really glad I decided to pack it and start practising now because I can see this is going to take some getting used to.

nordic walking poles and osprey backpack

my nordic walking poles and osprey backpack looking fairly benign….

One of the articles I read that I found to be of interest was on this website http://caminoways.com/walking-poles

With my walk from Southwark to Canterbury coming up soon I will have to make a decision on whether or not to take them….at least they fold up nicely into my backpack, so if I do take them and they annoy me I can just fold them up shove them back in.

Time will tell.

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It’s normal at this time of the year to think about and consider what, if any, resolutions you may want to make. Hundreds of articles are written each year on the ‘how to’, ‘ the why’, ‘the when’ etc etc, only for many of them to fall by the wayside when real life takes over.

Personally I stopped making resolutions decades ago (urgh, that word ‘decades’ ages me LOL). I seldom kept to them. I am a procrastinator, something I’ve recently named and shamed, and my philosophy in life has always been ‘if it can be done tomorrow….’ And so my resolutions usually fell by the wayside. I’m also fairly lazy…especially if my resolution doesn’t match my values. Ergo…..the “I want to lose weight” resolution simply doesn’t work well if you love food! And chocolate. And cake. And ice-cream. And Vogels bread with latherings of butter and Robertson’s Lime jelly…….and so on and so on; you get my drift. So I’ve pretty much given up on making any resolutions that have anything to do with dieting – besides being unhealthy for my psyche, as soon as I decide to cut something out…I start to crave it.

So no, resolutions don’t work for me. Goals….hmmm, there are so many goals I would like to set and I went through a stage of trying to learn how to set goals but I find it incredibly difficult to make a goal only for my circumstances to change and the goal disappears (my personal development journey that didn’t work too well for me…) and so we get down to plans and intentions.

Plans I can do!! I love lists. I love spreadsheets. So plans I can do. I find it a thrill to make plans to do something. It’s like Dr John Demartini says “find someone’s highest values and they will be more likely to succeed”.

quote# “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising, which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.’’  Ralph Waldo Emerson – Poet and Essayist

So what are my plans and intentions for 2017?

  1. To walk more – dead easy…I love walking. I would walk for miles every day if I could.
  2. To travel more – I love travelling. The thrill of going somewhere new. Visiting a new place for me is like discovering a closed door….open the door and all manner of delights await.
  3. I intend to spend more quality time with my daughter. Again this is just so easy!! I will be moving to new accommodation at the end of January, so we will be able to plan to get together 🙂
  4. To start saving for my daughter’s 2018 June wedding – I intend to work a few extra days each month to achieve this.
  5. To visit at least 2 islands I haven’t been to yet.
  6. To visit at least 4 new cities in England – I can ask the agency to send me to different locations and while I’m there I can explore the area.
  7. To visit my brother and his family in Budapest.
  8. To improve my photographs and learn more about what makes a great photo. I love taking photos…in fact I take way too many, but I enjoy keeping a record of where I was when and photographing everything I see 😉
  9. To explore healthier options in the food line. While I was working at my last job I discovered the joy of experimenting with recipes. This however could lead to a bit of a challenge…..if there’s more than 3 ingredients…I get bored. hahaha. Also many of my clients prefer plain simple English cooking….
  10. To read more books. To that end I’ve listed a few books on my Amazon wish list that I plan to buy.
  11.  To reduce my debt. This is still a very sore point with me. Thanks to the personal development journey in 2007/2008, and the said guru’s advice on OPM I am still struggling to pay off my debt. But I’ve reduced it from £50k in 2008 to just over £15k in 2017. eish. 10 years on. Anyway that issue still irks me so best to leave it alone. Suffice to say, I am slowly getting there…paying the credit cards off while still having a life.
  12. And the biggie for me this year…..to walk the Camino de Santiago. I had planned to walk the Portuguese route last year in September, but the UK Customs & Excise taxes on my SA shipment put paid to that. New Year = New Intention!!
  13. To see more sunrises or sunsets…depending on where I am in the world. “The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Eden Phillpots
  14. To blog more often……hence this blog 😉
  15. To walk the Worcestershire Way.
  16. To book to watch the 2018 London fireworks….they are amazing.

    plans, goals, intentions and resolutions

    Happy New Year 2017 – London

Where and when to start? Needless to say the easiest plan to start with is the walking. It is my intention to walk the Camino this year. To do that I must at least have achieved a certain level of fitness to make the walk pleasant….I do not want blisters and sore feet!

So with that in mind, and despite it being a perfectly vile day; wet and cold and windy….typical New Year’s Day weather in the UK, I set off on the first of my intentions; to walk more.  Bundled up in my winter woollies and raincoat I set off along the coast and walked to just past Dumpton Gap and back – 1 hour; 5.1 kms; 7282 steps; yes!!!

goals, plans, intentions and resolutions

New Year’s Day – Camino practice walk

Happy New Year folks…..I’d love to hear what your Plans, Goals, Intentions and Resolutions might be….

 

 

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A few years ago I had the great good fortune of listening to Dr Demartini speak at an event.  At the time I had some personal issues that I wanted to sort out, issues that I felt were holding me back in many ways.  I was so impressed by what he had to say that I signed up for the ‘Breakthrough Experience’, a 3 day course that he runs.  It was one of the hardest weekends of my life but also one of the most life-changing weekends.  This was during a period of time where I had a brain-storm (not to be confused with brain-wave…which is usually the precursor to something sensible) and signed up to just about every Personal Development course that was being held in London at that time (2007-2008), 9 months of madness that cost me a ruddy fortune.  Subsequent to that period of lunacy, I was left with a serious amount of debt and over a period of time….a healthy respect of Personal Development avoidance.

However, subsequent to that and because this particular course did in fact produce a positive outcome, Dr Demartini’s course was/is the only one I would ever recommend.  I signed up to his newsletters and follow his page on facebook.  I enjoy reading the information he sends and usually get some real learning out of it.  I received this in the mail a few days ago and thought I would share it with you as it is really profound….I hope he doesn’t mind 🙂 ( and in case he reads this (as if) no Dr D I am not putting you on a pedestal….I just really appreciate what you teach! 🙂 )

So here goes:

” The three words ‘I LOVE YOU’ can be for some the most challenging words to say and yet also the most commonly appreciated words for people to hear.

Many people hold back on sharing their love and appreciation for others because of a fear of rejection.
I often ask my clients what they would do if they were told they only had 24 hours to live. In all, if not most cases, they say they would make sure they used their last hours to say ‘Thank you, I love you’ to all of the people they feel contributed towards their lives.

At the core of every human being, we all just want to be loved and appreciated for who we are. So letting someone know that you love them is one of the most precious gifts you can give.

Whether Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Children’s Day, when it comes to those you love, find a way to share your appreciation and the truth of your heart.

When asked the best way to overcome the fear of saying ‘I love you’, I suggest the following:

Write down 25 benefits to you of your sharing the words ‘I love you’ with the person you wish to share your heart with, and then also write down 25 drawbacks to you of not sharing the words ‘I love you’ with them.
Whenever we see more benefits than drawbacks in an outcome, we take action.
Write down all the things you fear may occur if you say ‘I love you’ and then take each item you listed and ask how it will benefit you if it occurs. Every situation has a balance of support and challenge and no matter what happens you will always experience both sides.
Write down 25 benefits to the person hearing you say you love them and 25 drawbacks for that person if you do not tell them. When you perceive more benefits to them of hearing the truth of your heart you will feel inspired to tell them you love them.
In our daily relationships we swing back and forth between like and dislike, attract and repel, yet are these not the two arms walking hand in hand as one in a balanced gait – truthfully called love.

True love is the synthesis and synchronicity of all complementary emotions – a balance between the attractive and repulsive emotional extremes. It is a pure energy that permeates our entire existence. When applied to a romantic or intimate relationship, true love emerges as you come to appreciate both the positive and negative, good and bad, happy and sad and ups and downs of a relationship. You realise that the purpose of a relationship is not only romance, joy, support and so-called happiness; it is also equally about learning, challenge, growth and personal evolution.

True love is our ultimate objective, whether we’re aware of it or not. We may think we’re looking for something else, something material and fleeting, but even the pursuit of transient goals just leads us back to the truth of love. The purpose of all relationships is to dissolve the barriers that keep us from recognising the love that already is and expressing the love we ultimately are.

Love and wisdom,
Dr John Demartini ”

As I said these are his words, and I have not added or subtracted anything from them, but I have sure gained a lot.  Hope you have enjoyed it as much.

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Hi folks,
You may recall over the last few months I have been part of two Virtual Blog Tours; 1) Roy Martina and 2) Tina Games, helping to promote these two already successful authors to get their new books onto Amazon’s best seller lists. Both were successful and the response they had was terrific and for me it was very exciting to be part of the tours! Not something I had done before, and interesting to see how this type of thing was done!
Subsequent to that I have been invited to become an affiliate for a different programme, slightly different this time in that it is not a blog tour but rather a webinar.
In this instance it is, as mentioned, an affiliate programme and the reason I enrolled in this is because once again the subject matter is of interest to me and in this case congruent with the direction I am taking my business; 3 Days in London. So it gives me great pleasure to invite you to participate in this webinar, the details of which are below. If you do decide to enroll on this webinar I look forward to hearing your thoughts and how it has been of help to you.  🙂

For Allison Maslan’s June 8th, 2011 Webinar
Six Steps to Reach Your Goals Once and For ALL!

============================================

Are You On Track to Hit Your 2011 Goals?

Are you among the many brilliant business owners who set goals but don’t have the time or the focus to bring them to fruition? Are you ready to change all that?

If you’re serious about getting out of overwhelm and becoming a focused, fantastically successful business owner, be sure to join this free call from business coach, mentor and strategist Allison Maslan (who also happens to be a best-selling author and millionaire!): “Six Steps to Reach Your Goals Once and For All! Your 2011 Mid-Year Success Check-Up.” Find out where you stand, and what to do if you’re not on track. Reserve your spot on the free call here  

=====================

Hope you enjoy the webinar.

27.05.11 p.s. I didnt mention above about the “Blastoff Business Blueprint” which comes as part of the webinar process.

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Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 8 of the Virtual Blog Tour of Hay House author Dr Roy Martina, whose book

Emotional Balance: The Path to Inner Peace and Harmony comes to Amazon on Tuesday March 15, 2011.

Dr Roy Martina - Emotional Balance

Dr Roy Martina - Emotional Balance: The Path to Inner Peace and Harmony

Roy Martina is a holistic medical doctor with over 30 years experience helping people tap into their true selves and “cure the incurable” by understanding the connection between emotional balance and dis-ease. He is the author of over 40 books in Dutch and other languages.

Dr Martina has spent the last 25 years studying acupuncture and numerous holistic techniques in order to offer people a profound level of healing, and he has been tireless in his pursuit of methods that work swiftly and effectively to aid the healing process. This work has put him at the leading edge of the holistic and self-help world.

dr roy martina

Dr Roy Martina

Yesterday, Roy visited Lynn Serafinn where he talked about questions relating to personal and social transformation.  To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://tinyurl.com/LynnRoyVBT

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Roy when I got to ask him on affirmations, gratitude journal and self-sabotage.  I hope you enjoy it.

——-

Cindy Eve: Are affirmations a form of suppression if we say “I am” when in fact “we are not” and therefore a form of self-persuasion that can be counter-productive?

Roy Martina:  Positive Affirmations are mental exercises that create stress patterns in the autonomous system and can be contributing to disease when not done properly.

The trick is to first connect with a time in the past or an imaginary time in the future or now where you can experience the feelings, thoughts, body language, breathing patterns that 100% corresponds with the physiological state that would be true if you were experiencing what you are saying in the now. Only then they are not stressful to the neurological system and become true and will help create the appropriate synapses that will correspond with that state. Now we get a matrix or hologram in the brain that we can tap into and switch over to the unconscious auto-pilot that belongs to that state.  Finally, we are consistent in all levels.

Cindy Eve: Why does keeping a gratitude journal make such a difference? (Besides the obvious)

Roy Martina: Keeping a gratitude journal is a training of the mind to constantly search for what is good in our lives and create an auto-pilot by creating the state of gratefulness as a life style. This takes a few months before we have enough synapses that will create the holographic matrix that is needed to be on autopilot.

The other thing that is important, is that gratitude allows us to let go of what we are not happy with, we ignore it, we do not give it space. It is like creating an environment where negativity cannot hold. We step by step release all the negativity in our lives and that is liberating.

Cindy Eve: If we are aware of self-sabotage and it’s affects and yet still continue to do it. What does that mean and why would do we still continue to self-sabotage?

Roy Martina:  Becoming aware that you are falling does not stop the falling. We will have to pull the cord of the parachute to stop the falling. If we have a defective parachute that will not be of use and we need to go to the back-up chute.

So awareness without the right tools only creates frustration. Then it is better to be ignorant as that may not dampen our happiness, and ignorance is bliss until we get the invoice for our party.   So ignorance is temporary bliss.   We need effective tools to stop our sabotage and the willingness to desire the change to create a life of evolution. Personal growth and improving the quality of our lives short and long term is what Emotional Balance is all about.

———-

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Dr Roy Martina and that you’ll check out his book Emotional Balance: the path to inner peace and harmony at http://emotionalbalance.com/book-launch/pre-launch.html

Here’s why:

FREE 4-DAY PASS

When you visit the page at the link above and request a “launch reminder”, you will automatically receive a FREE pass to Roy ‘s 4-day “Emotional Balance Telesummit” with a line up of 9 TOP international experts on the topic of emotional healing and inner balance. You can listen to the telesummit online in the comfort of your own home, and even ask questions during the broadcast. This is a completely free “no purchase necessary” gift from Roy , to celebrate the release of the new Hay House publication of his book.

FREE GIFTS

Then, if you decide to you buy the book during its official launch celebration on Tuesday March 15, 2011, you can ALSO receive a complete library of over 40 beautiful personal development gifts from authors, speakers, healers, coaches and other enlightened professionals from around the globe.

To claim your 4-Day Pass and read about the 40 free gifts, go to: http://emotionalbalance.com/book-launch/pre-launch.html

Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Roy tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Arlene Taveroff who will be interviewing Roy on questions relating to letting go/ effortlessness, process of going from working hard to working smart to not working at all and sharing another new tale about being who you really are.  To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://wisdomalacarte.net/blog/roy-martina-on-letting-go-and-being-who-you-really-are/2011/02/

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….and that is how I started my career.  I read post a few days ago by a young lass who was wondering what work life must have been like before the advent of the internet…..I left a comment and that got me to thinking!!  How things have changed and what it was like when I started my first job in 1972!! Yeah believe it or not, I was not only alive in that far back time (aeons ago) but I was actually of an age to go out and get a job!

I recall my very unauspicious start in my ‘career’ aka ‘a job’ in those days. Only Doctors, Directors and such like had a ‘career’. I had left school the year before and initially got a job in a supermarket, but my mother was determined that I would get an office job despite that I wanted to work as a nursery school teacher (love babies), so she sent me off to college to learn shorthand and typing.  Guuuggg!!! I was hopeless at shorthand and despite having passed my typing exams at school I could only type with two fingers! hahaha. useless.  Anyhow after a couple of weeks of sheer misery I quit college and told my mother I was not going back.   She conceded defeat and advised me to get out and get a job.  I spent a couple of weeks traipsing round Johannesburg, (South Africa) dejectedly looking for work of any kind….so long as I earned some money.

After a few weeks of rejection and dejection and no job, my mother got fed-up and to my parting back one day said these immortal words “Don’t come home till you have a job!”.   What???   Boy, did that galvanise me.  I shot off into town and once again walked the streets knocking on doors and almost pleading for someone to hire me! 🙂  Boy, if I could go back to that girl, I would give her a hearty slap! Silly girl. Anyways……….. I walked and walked and walked from place to place, but I either did not have enough experience (no sh*t; I just left school yesterday!!!) or the right skills or whatever….perhaps I just went to the wrong companies.

Finally on that awful day, at about 2pm I got back on the train and decided to try closer to home which in those days was a town called Germiston! yuck what a horrible name. Anyhow, once again I knocked on doors… to no avail.  At just before 4pm on impulse I walked through the doors of a building society called S A Permanent (hopefully not!).   So I sat in the reception area looking totally bereft, knowing my time was running out and wondering where I was going to sleep that night (my mother was not to be messed with and I had taken her words seriously).

A gentleman by the name of Mr Cunningham (bless you dear, you saved my life) came through to reception and showed me through to his office.  I sat there terrified and waiting for his words of rejection…..when sure enough he said ‘Sorry but we are not hiring at the moment!’….that was it…..I burst into tears and sobbed and sobbed, unable to even speak and tell him why I was crying.  After lots of tissues and a cup of tea I calmed down enough to tell him my sad story.   I started work the next day!

A typist who could only type with two fingers, I made so many mistakes that eventually they gave me other work to do!  The head of the department, a real dragon of a woman who terrified the daylights out of me, was SO! not impressed with the Boss.  She had me transferred to another department as soon as she could and was pleased to see the back of me.  🙂

In those days we had typewriters that clanged and pinged when you reached the end of a row,

typewriters circa 1972

the type of typewriter I had when I first started work

had a handle that you pulled to move the carriage back to start, with keys that clattered and banged, got stuck together and hashed things up, carbon paper that if you used it too often wore out, black & red typewriter ribbon that ran out right in the middle of a long letter and you ended up with red ink all over the paper and had to start again. We eventually evolved to ‘golf-ball’ keys!

golf-ball keys.. pic via sciencephoto.com

ibm selectric typewriter ribbon

IBM Selectric typewriter ribbon..pic via ecw.com

This pic shows the ribbon in a cartridge, but in the early days they were two loose metal bobbins with the ribbon wound round that had to be inserted into the machine!! More often than not the ribbon would get tangled and you had to practically take the whole machine apart to sort it out. Then we progressed to something a little more compact and fancier but didn’t make any difference to my typing!

ibm selectric typewriter

progress............IBM Selectric pic via brandflakesforbreakfast.com

It’s been kinda weird thinking of that again, coz in those days we greeted the Boss as ‘Sir’ as in ‘Goodmorning Sir’ with a little dip of the head, the Typing pool’s dragon was addressed as Miss (& her surname) or Ma’am, there was no such thing as flexi-time, you did not dare be late or you had the time deducted from your month end salary, which was pathetic to start with – in today’s currency it would equate to £7.50 or R75.00 PER MONTH!!!! not per day or per hour, but per month! hahahaha. Doesn’t pay for more than 2 cuppachino’s and a cupcake today! And then my mother took 50% for Board and Lodging! I hardly had enough left to pay for busfare and had to fix ladders (holes) in my stockings with nail varnish!

When you went for an interview you did not tell the interviewer that you were thinking of getting married, because as the man put it: “I don’t want to waste money on training a woman who is going to go off and get married and have babies” – talk about sexual discrimination! I could sue him today! We were also required to dress in very smart suits, no trainers, jeans, t-shirts or cropped tops and you never ever EVER went to work with coloured hair, dangly earrings, bright nailpolish or swanky jewellery.  I got sent home one day for coming to work in trousers! no kidding.  I was told that I was a woman and as such should wear a dress or skirt.  You were NEVER allowed to use the phone for private use and forbidden to accept personal calls. And of course in those days we did not have mobile/cell phones! You had a lunch break from 1pm-2pm and did not dare come back late!

I eventually moved onto another position in another company and expanded my skills by learning how to do filing, be a receptionist and answer a switchboard that had plugs and cords and you answered in a bright chirpy voice, yes Sir, no Sir 3 bags full Sir, I also learned how to open the mail and sort it into important and not so important (lord knows why they thought I had enough brain in those days to know the difference), and type letters without too many mistakes.  I was also saved by the advent of ‘Tippex’ “every secretary’s life-saver!”

tippex

every secretary's life-saver! pic via freeimages.co.uk

I learned how to file from A-Z, and how to prepare an invoice, which stood me in good stead for my next job which was as a Girl-Friday.  This was the job I loved the most.  I learned how to prepare wages and invoices and statements….whoo hoo!!! Going UP!!! hahahaha.

Everything was written by hand and I took great pride in sending out invoices that were pristine and month end statements that were beautifully hand-written and 100% accurate.  I was in my element. This is still something that thrills me today and even though I no longer work in an office, I now prepare my own spread-sheets and reconcile my bank statements to the penny, albeit on my computer.  There was (still is) something beautiful about a row of figures that marched in neat rows down the page, all hand-written with no crossing out (errors).  I took great pride in being able to present my Boss with a beautiful set of ledgers and accounts at the end of the month.

And then we got a computer!  That was in 1975! Blimey!  We converted to this new fangled system and to my absolute pride the Computer guy said that we were the first company that had made such a smooth transition with no errors.  And that was the end of handwritten invoices and statements 😦   Although I loved learning to process the accounts via a computer, I missed being able to write them up. Of course it also meant that letters could now be processed on a ‘word-processor’

micro-computer/wordprocessor - pic via 80sactual.com

and that was an unadulterated joy!!!! No more tippex, no more wasted paper, no more carbon that left blue ink on your fingers, no more black/red ribbons to be changed…..and yet I missed the ‘ping’ of the carriage reaching the end of the row, the clack-clack of the keys against the roll and the satisfaction of typing a letter from beginning to end with no mistakes!!! No challenge anymore! I also had to go on a 6 week course to learn how to use it! 🙂

wikipedia’s description of tippex – which pretty much says it all!! 🙂

“The first product was an innovative correction paper for use with typewriters. The name “Tipp-Ex” given both to the company and the product was based on the use of this product — “Tipp” is the German word for “type”, and “ex” is Latin for “no more”.

As a result of the invention of Tipp-Ex, it became possible to erase a typographical error typed with a typewriter. The typewriter would be backspaced to the letter that was to be changed, the correction paper would be placed in front of the ribbon, and the mistyped letter would be re-typed. The system only worked if the typewriter repositioned the re-typed letter in exactly the same place as originally typed, which could be problematic if returning to a previous line. (Ha! no kidding!!)

In 1965, Tipp-Ex launched a correction fluid and quickly developed a full range of correction fluids for different uses. Sold in more than 150 countries, Tipp-Ex became a unique European brand.”

Bear in mind that South Africa was always as least 10 years behind in getting anything that was launched in Europe.  I also recall that when it was first launched in South Africa, we were forbidden to use it by the Boss!  I even recall that as late as 1993 when I was working at a Courier company; XPS in Isando, we got a new accounts manager who in his first week with the company, went through all the accounts ladies desk drawers and threw out the tippex!! FORBIDDEN! hahahaha. How funny.

And that is how my office ‘career’ started. I am sure there are plenty more things I could write about from those early days, but I think this is long enough and I am sure you got the gist of it!

All I can say in conclusion is………HOORAY!!!! for the internet. I love it and I am addicted to google. you can find out anything at all that you need or want to know.

Long live the internet!

and in closing, a quote from twitter – On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key – anon

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I am not sure how this came about, but in the last few days I have been thinking a lot about things I miss.  I think it had a lot to do with an email I got with pictures of different cats.  I adore cats and right before I left South Africa in 2001 (gosh that long ago!) I had 5 of god’s beautiful creatures living with us; me and my daughter (another of god’s beautiful creatures).  And thinking about that got me to thinking about how much I miss the sound of a cat purring in my ear while it sleeps soundly and I am lying on the couch with the beauty lying stretched out along my body, fast asleep and purring loudly in my ear…and all the while I am dying to go pee but don’t want to disturb the cat!! 🙂 hahaha. that happened too many times to remember!

I miss our cats and how when they were kittens we used to laugh till we were hysterical at their antics. And then I got to thinking about other stuff I miss and coz my minds wanders as much as my ramblings on my blog, the range of things I miss are vast and across the years and miles.

I miss my Mother. I miss the sound of her laughter as she enjoyed something that had amused her. I miss her famous ham and pea soup and the cheese scones she used to make. I miss the smell of her and walking into the bathroom whilst she was in the bath and her hair was hanging loose  (she had hair down to her waist).  I miss how she always took so much pleasure in her grandchildren and how she used to help us (when we were little) and then the grandkids, to make christmas pudding – (she always made them in September so they could mature by Xmas). I miss watching her with her grandchildren.  I miss watching her ‘put her face on’….as someone who never wears make-up I never really got that! But I enjoyed watching her do it. I miss how as an adult, when I came to visit, she used to take me round her garden to see her plants and the roses that she loved so much…..and I know now how much I did not appreciate that at the time. (Sorry Ma!) I miss how I could call her anytime I had a problem or felt sad and needed a shoulder to cry on…..she was always there. I miss that I am not able to ask her all the questions I have now that my daughter is an adult.

I miss the time before she met her 2nd husband, the person she was before.  I miss walking to the shops with my sister; me 7 and her 4 years old, to buy bread and milk for my mother. I miss that we were really safe in those days and could get there and back without fear.  I miss how my sister and I used to buy hot white bread at the shop and the shopkeeper put it into a brown paper bag and on the way home we would eat the crusts off the end of the loaf and along the edges….never really recognising that putting the loaf back into the packet so you could not see where we had eaten it, did not mean that my Mother would not notice that we had eaten it when we got home. 🙂  I miss the days before lost innocence. I miss walking in the rain with my mother and her letting us splash in all the puddles, not minding that we got soaked.

I miss the anticipation of the holidays with my father in Cape Town, holidays that never lived up to my expectations but were treasured anyway coz I loved my Dad desperately in those days.  I miss my brother who died many, many years ago. I miss his mad ideas and his crazy, zany laughter that used to burst from his mouth.   I miss the nonsense we used to get up to and the secrets we had.

I miss my grandmother and how it was before she died.  I miss the great big rambling house she had where we could hide away with a book and never be found unless we wanted to. I miss visiting her on a sunday and being allowed to open the window-seat and choose a toy or a puzzle to play with. I miss her pantry and the knowledge that there were yummy cakes in there that we used to eat the icing off of! (this drove her to distraction and to us having our bottoms heated regularly). Boy she had a heavy hand did Grandma. I miss crawling into her bed in the mornings when I was little and having tea with her.  I miss brushing her hair (also down to her waist) and how she smelt of lavender.

I miss having my own home. I miss the feeling of knowing that I was secure in this space and that I could just be if I wanted to. I miss that it was our home where we had cats and dogs and hamsters and fish.  I miss the days when my daughter used to climb into my bed in the morning for a cuddle. I miss how we used to lie in bed together on the nights it rained and stormed and listen to the hail crashing down on the roof  and the racket it made (we had a tin roof – an old mining house).  I miss mowing the lawn. I miss my car…which is absurd since I love walking.

I miss the days when I could fix whatever was hurting my daughter with a cuddle and ‘a kiss to make it better’.  I miss the days before she became sad from disappointment.  I miss that I was able to make things better and give her hope. I miss how I could plan her birthdays and make them fun and exciting.  I miss the days we used to drive from one side of the country to the other on holiday, a journey of 1,600 km’s and how we would put the radio on full-blast and sing at full volume to the songs. I miss watching her sleep as I drove and the feelings of protection I used to have. Not that I don’t have those feelings anymore, just that they are different.

I miss my sisters……they are all zany and all completely different characters and I miss their funny ways.  I miss my great-niece and nephews, who are growing up fast and have no idea who I am. Ok, so they know about me, but if I walked towards them in a mall they would have no idea it was me!

I miss who I was before I got sucked into the personal development world.  I miss how I was able to just live and be.  Now I question everything I think and do, second guessing everything I feel and experience.  I miss that I didn’t know that what you resist persists. I miss that I could just go off and be who I was.   I miss what I had….total freedom.  Which is quite odd since it was working through the processes at one of the PD courses that I discovered that my highest value is freedom.  I miss that I didn’t know all that I know now.  I have no idea if that makes any sense, but it does to me.  I miss who I was before I got involved with MLM.  I miss that I didn’t feel like a failure before I started and now after 8 different attempts I have to concede defeat and acknowledge that it’s not for me. “If at first you don’t succeed, before you try again, stop to figure out what you did wrong” — Leo Rosten  Shame I can’t wish away the debt that came with it!!  I miss how excited I was at this new discovery and how brilliant I thought the whole concept was, till I learned the secret!  It’s a numbers game……..

I miss going to the drive-in (outdoor big-screen cinemas) and how we used to run wild about the grounds while my mother and her partner watched the movie.  I miss how we could watch movies like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music and it wasn’t considered corny and pathetic. I miss how we used to gather together, all the family in one place to watch Dallas. Awful programme, but we were addicted to it. hahahaha. I miss when my sisters were babies and I could play with them……big dolls they were. I miss how I used to dream about having a happy marriage and a big house.

I miss the days before I knew I would get old and appendages would begin to ache.  I miss the days before I knew that I was not immortal.   I miss going out for ice-cream with my Dad and how we always disagreed on which flavour was the best….chocolate or strawberry. I miss being able to wear a bikini 🙂 God knows no-one else would miss that now!!! hahaha.  I miss the days when I was a credit-controller and how much I loved my job.  I miss the days when I ate what I enjoyed and didn’t have the word cholesterol in my life….although my figure looks better for it 🙂 HAHA!  I miss the days when I could sit down and read a book right through without stopping and not fall asleep after the first 3 pages (like I do now).  I miss the days before I had to start wearing glasses and the panic I have when I can’t read the bloody words on anything without them.

I miss the days I used to dance with wild abandon, and didn’t look like an old fart who should know better, how I could head-bang to my hearts content and not wonder if folks around me thought I was mad (I only do that when I am alone now) heehee. I miss LP’s (long-playing records) and the feel and smell of them. The anticipation of choosing a record, slipping it out it’s sleeve and putting it onto the turntable and the thrill of waiting for the first strains to fill the air.  I miss the days when you could go shopping and fill a trolley to the brim, and it didn’t put you into debt!  I miss watching the delight on my daughter’s face when she used to ride on the mechanical horses at the supermarket. I miss how I used to sit at the back of the bus on the way home from school with my best friend and laugh till I wet my knickers (gross I know), but I loved how she used to wind me up and how we got thrown off the bus for making a racket.

I miss how my daughter and I used to lie on the lawn in our garden and watch the planes come in to land at the airport that was not too far away, and how between planes we would find shapes in the clouds. I miss how when I was a teenager, my mother and her partner took us girls to the end of the runway at Jan Smuts airport for a picnic and gave us lessons on how to drive; the joy of being able to hop in the car and just drive regardless of the crashed gears and dents.  You can’t do that anymore coz of security issues; either park at the end of the runway or drive without a license!  I miss reading bedtime stories to my daughter when she was little, and the excitement on her face as we chose that nights reading. How she used be awake and I fell asleep while reading the book.  I miss how she thought I had all the answers. I miss our little secret signal that she invented as code for during times of uncertainty; that we could use to say it was alright.

I miss being able to just have a sunday snooze if I felt like it!  I miss Ireland and the fun times I had with my sister and brother-in-law while they still lived there, the excitement of planning a trip across the Irish sea.  I miss the days when I could just miss things and remininesce without thinking about what Tony R said……you can’t go thought life looking in the rearview mirror.  I miss the days when I could just look back and remember stuff without thinking of that and worrying if I should or should not be looking back! and if my reasons for looking back were good or bad! I miss the days when I didn’t question my every thought and wonder if they are ‘personal development’ correct or not!

I miss the days when I used to sit and knit and watch TV without worrying about other stuff I should be doing.  I wonder if I can even remember how to knit 🙂   I miss the days when I used to sit with my mother and sister and play scrabble, drinking copious cups of tea, how we used to play the glassy glassy game and scare ourselves almost to death when the blasted glass used to move!!!  I miss the braais (barbeques) we used to have at my sister’s house.  Not that I eat meat, but I enjoyed the laughter and the jokes and the nonsense we got up to!  I miss how I used to jump into a swimming pool fully clothed and not worry about it.  I miss how when we were kids my sister and I used to have to ‘stamp’ the washing in the bath on a Friday afternoon.  We didn’t have a washing machine so my mother used to put the washing into the bath to soak during the day and after school we would have to ‘stamp’ the washing to remove the dirt. I am not really sure how effective it was but we had the cleanest feet in the neighbourhood. 🙂

I miss how on a Saturday afternoon when I was a teenager I would head on over to my best friend’s house to listen to the ‘Top of the Pops’ and how we would lie on the grass trying to guess which song would be TOTP’s and how we would shriek with delight when our choice came first.   I miss how when my daughter was a little girl a box of smarties really did cure all ills.  And how she knew what I was up to, even thought I tried to do it in secret,  when I wrapped 20 little boxes of smarties into her clothes before she left to go to America the first time.

There are many things I miss, and there is a heck of a lot I don’t miss but if you have managed to read this far….I commend you and won’t go into the long list of things I don’t miss 🙂 ……so in closing……..

……..at the moment I miss the sunshine……..please come back, all is forgiven.

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